Either the Republican Party doesn't have a War on Women like they claim, or they have a War on Sanity. They can't have it both ways. Of course, in addition, they also might just like proving the validity of the their own report which pointed out the complaint that the GOP was made up of stuffy old white man.State Senator Peter Hanson (R-New Hampshire) sent out an email two weeks ago in which he referred to women as...well, close your eyes if there are impressionable adults in the room..."vagina's." In his note, he wrote: "What could possibly be missing from those factual tales of successful retreat in VT, Germany, and the bowels of Amsterdam? Why children and vagina's of course."
Making this all the more charming, mind you, is that New Hampshire's governor is a women, and is the only state whose entire House and Senate delegation are women.
Sen. Hanson did write a nice, albeit aggressive and half-hearted apology:
"Can there be any doubt my comment is being misinterpreted and taken completely out of context? It was not, and is not, my intention to demean women at any time. It is apparent that the intent of my remarks has been misinterpreted, the true goal of the message lost and for that I apologize to those who took offense."
Just to be clear, I politely consider this half-hearted, not because he doesn't really say he did anything wrong, but rather because that wasn't his first response. His first response said something totally different when chastised by a fellow-senator --
"Having a fairly well educated mind I do not need self appointed wardens to A: try to put words in my mouth for political gain and B: Turn a well founded strategy in communication into an insulting accusation, and finally if you find the noun vagina insulting or in some way offensive then perhaps a better exercise might be for you to re-examine your psyche,"
To be clear, both parties have elected officials on the state level who do stupid things that shouldn't inherently impact the national party's reputation. The problem though is when those on the state level aren't saying things that are outlier from the national party, but rather confirm the complaint that has already been established.
Hey, at least the GOP doesn't also have state officials saying anything racist. That's good, because...oh, right, there was County Commissioner Jim Gile (R-KS) going overboard two weeks ago when he talked about "nigger-rigging". And then he defended his statement by saying he's built Habitat homes for "colored people." (No, honestly, he said all that.) I have no idea if Mr. Gile is prejudiced or just profoundly foolish. I suspect the later, and hope it's so. All I know for certain is that he has a shovel and keeps digging himself deeper.
Which makes him a proud member of the Republican Party.
(Hey, maybe all this is the sort of problem that can help break the logjam and get Republicans to support gun control. That way, they can stop shooting themselves in the foot.)
Mr. Gile, meet Mr. Hansen. You're both are good, proud Republicans, guys. So, how's about you heed the admonition of one of your party's founding fathers, Abraham Lincoln. "Better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than speak and remove all doubt."
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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